Episode: An Inside Look at Qualcomm’s Latest Announcements

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An Inside Look at Qualcomm’s Latest Announcements

On this special episode of the Futurum Tech Podcast - Interview Series, host Daniel Newman welcomes Rahul Patel, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Connectivity and Networking Business Unit at Qualcomm. The conversation centered around new Qualcomm announcements including the WiFi 6 extension.


Rahul and I spent time discussing the shift to a remote work environment for a big company like Qualcomm. Like all companies, the shift was almost overnight with employees needing to work from home, but unlike most companies, Qualcomm still needed some employees to be on-campus to continue manufacturing. The leadership team worked to equip employees with what they needed to work safely and efficiently, regardless of location. Qualcomm relied heavily on the existing infrastructure to support the necessary changes. And thanks to years of planning, Rahul shared that the company was virtually unaffected by the switch.


Bringing WiFi 6E to market. Rahul shared the exciting news around the WiFi 6E launch as a result of the FCC opening up the 6 gigahertz spectrum. He explained that this additional expansion is like taking a highway during rush hour and making it two and a half times the original size. Now users have the original highway and the new larger highway to use to get connected. In terms of networking, this means apps are going to be moving into the six gigahertz spectrum.


Building devices to be faster. Rahul also discussed the impact WiFi 6 and 6E are going to have on our devices. Qualcomm is building devices that will be able to operate in the fast lane of the highway. For applications, this means that low latency, high speed applications like gaming, virtual reality and augmented reality are going to be more realistic. Other benefits include better connectivity and fewer interruptions as the network can handle more devices. Hopefully these devices will be deployed by the end of this year or early part of 2021.


WiFi 6 and 5G go hand in hand. While most of our conversation focused on WiFi 6, we also examined how 5G networks will complement WiFi 6. Rahul explained that 5G is your wide area network and WiFi 6 is your local area network. If you have one without the other, you’re not going to realize the full experience of high speed connectivity. Qualcomm just introduced an access point portfolio called Network Pro Series that goes from supporting highest end performance in excess of 10 gigabits per second WiFi capability to three gigabits per second. Customers can build a network to scale from a hotspot in a coffee shop to something that will cover a stadium.


Bringing it all home. Lastly, we discussed where this technology will likely go in the future. Rahul shared that Qualcomm is looking at an enterprisation of the home. We have more devices that need to be connected. We are streaming more and needing better connectivity speeds. And that’s likely going to continue as we bring in other technologies like VR and AR. Qualcomm is working on bringing the technology together for a platform approach that ultimately presents the holistic experience to the end consumer. Consumers don’t need to know what the technology is, they just need to be able to get connected.


I can’t wait to see what else Qualcomm builds and where it takes our technology. If you’d like to learn more about Qualcomm’s announcements, be sure to check out their website.

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